Six major global banks have been penalized with hefty fines totaling about $5.7bn by the UK and US regulators for manipulating the foreign exchange market.
The banks include Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), UBS, and Bank of America (BofA).
The banks were accused of coordinating their trades using invitation-only chat rooms and coded language to cheat clients and enhance profits.
Barclays, JPMorgan, Citicorp, RBS, UBS, and BofA pleaded guilty to US Justice Department on charges of rigging benchmark rates.
Speaking about the banks’ involvement in rate rigging, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said: "They acted as partners — rather than competitors — in an effort to push the exchange rate in directions favorable to their banks but detrimental to many others."
Barclays, which pleaded guilty to a US criminal charge of forex rate manipulation, has been fined $2.4bn (£1.5bn) by both the regulators.
Barclays’ fine was highest among the lenders, as it did not participate in a group settlement held in November.
As settlement, the UK-based lender now has to pay $710m to the US Department of Justice, $485m to the New York Department of Financial Services, $400m to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, $342 to the US Federal Reserve, and $441m to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority.
Barclays has also agreed to dismiss eight of its employees involved with rigging forex rates as part the settlement.
US bank Citigroup has been fined $925m in criminal fines as settlement, and $342m as fine by the US Federal Reserve.
JPMorgan has to pay $550m as criminal fine, and $342m as penalty to the Federal Reserve.
RBS share of the criminal fine is $395m. The bank will also have to pay $274m as fine to the Federal Reserve.
BofA has been slapped a penalty of $205m for unsound practices in foreign exchange.
Swiss lender UBS will separately plead guilty to rigging Libor and other benchmark interest rates.
The bank has to pay $203m as criminal fine for breaching a 2012 non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department over Libor, and $342m to the Federal Reserve over attempted forex rate rigging.